Userful Desktop™ 8: Installation

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Copyright © 2015 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2015.09.28)

To return to the Userful Desktop 8 main documentation page, Click Here.


Thank you for choosing Userful Desktop™ 8, the world’s best and most complete public computing solution.

This is a part of the Userful Desktop™ 8 Administrator Manual. To view the complete manual, please click here.

Installing Userful Desktop 8

If you purchased Userful Desktop 8 as a software-only solution, you will need to install Userful Desktop 8 on your PCs. If you purchased Userful Desktop 8 as a complete hardware and software solution, your computers ship with Userful Desktop 8 pre-installed. Please proceed to First Boot After Installation.

NOTE: Userful Desktop 8 software installed by this DVD permits both single and multi-station use.

To install Userful Desktop 8:

Step 1: If your computer is configured to boot from the DVD drive, simply switch the computer on and insert the Userful Desktop 8 Installation DVD into the drive. If the PC does not boot from the DVD, enable the DVD boot device option in the BIOS following the instructions below.

System Setup Diagram

Step 2: After booting from the Userful Desktop 8 Installation DVD, select the type of partition, Automatic Partition(entire hard drive will be formatted and you will loose all the data on that hard drive), Manual Partition(manually specify the volume to be formatted).Installation starts automatically if the computer hardware meets the minimum specifications outlined above.

Step 3: Once Userful Desktop 8 is installed on the hard drive, eject and remove the DVD. Ensure that the computer is connected to the Internet prior to restarting the computer. This is an ideal time to connect USB multiseat devices to the host PC. Once any necessary hardware setup is complete, reboot the computer.

Note: Before permitting public use, configure the BIOS to prevent booting from a DVD and password protect the BIOS. This ensures that a malicious user cannot boot his own DVD and overwrite your hard drive. Enter your computer’s BIOS configuration as described below, then go to the “Security” or “Passwords” page in the BIOS and select the “Set Supervisor Password” or similar option. Press ‘Enter’ and type in the password you want and press ‘Enter’, do this again and record the password for future reference. Save the new BIOS settings and exit the BIOS configuration screen.

Changing Boot Device Priority

Changing boot device priority enables your computer to boot from the Userful Desktop 8 Installation DVD, and -- with different settings -- prevents unauthorized users from booting their own software.

To change boot device priority:

  1. Press the ‘Delete’ or appropriate function (F1 -F12) key when you first switch on the computer to enter the BIOS configuration screen. (Determine the correct key to press for your PC by examining the first screens to appear after switching on your computer.)
  2. In the BIOS configuration screens, navigate using the arrow keys. Press ‘Enter’ to select options and ‘Esc’ to exit. The particular page and name of the boot sequence configuration depends on the computer. On older PCs it could be called “CMOS Setup” under the “Advanced” menu; modern PCs might list it as “Boot Device Priority” on the “Boot” menu. Select the “Boot Device Priority” option and press ‘Enter’.
    An example of a BIOS screen.
  3. Select the “1st Boot Device” option and press ‘Enter’; this will let you choose from a list of possible devices such as hard disk drives, and USB and network devices.
  4. Use the arrow keys (or the +/- keys on some computers) to highlight the appropriate boot device. To boot from the Userful Desktop 8 DVD, choose the DVD drive, then press ‘Enter’. To prevent others from booting from their own DVDs (after installing Userful Desktop 8), choose the hard drive, then press ‘Enter’.
  5. Press ‘Esc’ repeatedly until you reach the main menu.
  6. Choose the option allowing you to exit the configuration BIOS configuration screen and save the new settings. Press ‘Enter’ to confirm the action. The computer will restart.

First Boot After Installation

The keyboard assignment screen

Step 1: Power on all monitors. If using USB zero client devices, they can now be connected to the computer box. Power on the computer box. The boot-up process will begin. During boot up, start-up messages will appear on the primary station’s monitor, typically connected to the top-most video port on the back of the computer box. This will also be the screen which displays any BIOS messages. Since all other screens will be blank during the initial phases, it is important to be sure that this monitor is plugged in and working.

Step 2: Once the system has started, each workstation's display will be presented with Userful Desktop software.

Only the host PC(with dual-head cards) display will prompt you to press a function key (F-1 to F-10) on the keyboard in front of the monitor to correctly link the keyboard to the monitor. Both a keyboard and a mouse are required. If the mouse is plugged into the USB keyboard (via an integrated hub in the keyboard) the mouse will be automatically assigned along with the keyboard when you press the correct function key. If the mouse is plugged into a separate USB port, you will be prompted to press a button on the mouse to link it with the correct monitor and keyboard combination. After setting up the input device, you will be presented with the Userful Desktop software.

You may reassign keyboard and mouse at any point by simply:

  • Selecting “Reset Configuration” in Userful Control Center from Administrator Mode or
  • Pressing “Ctrl+Alt+Break” or
  • Disconnecting and reconnecting the offending keyboard.

Configuring Userful Desktop

When Userful Desktop starts for the first time, the setup wizard screen appears.

After configuring the display settings and assigning at least one station, you will be prompted to accept the Userful Desktop License Agreement. If you accept the agreement, the setup wizard will guide you through initial Userful Desktop configuration.

The following steps should be completed prior to enabling the system. A green check mark will appear next to each configured item.

Step 1, Network: Network settings must be configured to access the local area network or the Internet. (Note: Internet access is required to complete the next configuration step.) The default network settings are correct for most installations. If necessary, instructions for reconfiguring the network are given in the Administrator Mode section of the User Guide.

Note the checkmarks next to each item. This system is completely configured and ready to be enabled.

Step 2, Network Proxy: Ensure that your system’s default network proxy is working. The network proxy can be manually configured.

Step 3, Apply Configuration: You must register Userful Desktop to take full advantage of Userful Desktop’s customizable settings and web-based management features. If you do not currently have a Userful Manager account, the Register step will offer to create one for you. This is one of the most powerful features of Userful Desktop and gives administrators remote control and monitoring of many Userful Desktop features.

If you incorrectly register your Userful Desktop in this step, please refer to the instructions here.

Step 4, Date and Time: Ensure that your system’s date and time, and time zone are correct before enabling your Userful Desktop. You can also set the date and time later through Admin Mode.

Step 5, Printers (optional): If you wish to configure printers connected to Userful Desktop, do so in this step. You can also configure printers later by following the steps in the Printing Guide.

Step 6, Enable System: After configuring the above options, click “Enable System” to turn on the stations. This will display the Welcome Screen on all configured systems.

Install External Packages

Number of packages necessary for multimedia playback (audio and video codecs, for example) as well as proprietary applications such as Flash and Adobe Reader, can be installed quickly and easily by installing "External Packages".

To install External Packages:

  1. Enter Administrator Mode by pressing Ctrl+Alt+A.
  2. Double-click on the "Advanced Tools" folder on the Administrator Mode desktop.
  3. Double-click on "Install Packages" to open the package management tool, Yum Extender.
  4. Click on "Available" (below search input box) to show all available packages.
  5. Search for "external" in the search input box.

  1. Click to put a checkmark next to "external-packages".
  2. Click "Apply" to install all the External Packages. This process will take some time to complete. No reboot is necessary after the installation.

  3. Connecting Other Devices

    A limited number of USB devices, in addition to USB mice, may be connected directly to USB ports in USB keyboards. Powered or unpowered USB hubs can also be used to connect a variety of USB devices. Audio devices can also be used at each station.

    About USB Devices

    USB devices can either be self powered (e.g., USB CD drives, powered USB hubs) or bus powered (e.g., audio headsets, mice, keyboards). Self powered devices include an AC power adapter. Because each USB port on the central computer only provides a power supply up to 500 mA for its devices, connecting multiple bus powered devices to an unpowered hub can easily exceed this maximum power consumption.

    Typically USB ports only provide sufficient power to support a single keyboard and mouse and one other low powered device such as a USB audio headset. To attach additional high power devices such as a USB floppy drive, you will need to connect them directly to the computer box, or to a powered USB hub.

    Keyboards should never be connected to spare ports on other keyboards. Floppy drives should never be plugged into keyboards

    For a more in-depth look at USB connectivity, please see USB: Troubleshooting and Guidelines.

    The User Experience: Headphones, USB Memory and Digital Cameras

    Userful Desktop is designed to give each user a complete 'PC' experience, including the use of audio devices such as, USB mass storage devices (flash drives) and digital cameras.

    Although station set-ups will vary, users will commonly plug their devices into a USB hub (which often includes a 3.5mm audio jack) or USB multiseat device associated with their Userful Desktop station. For optimum performance, please instruct users to:

    • plug in audio devices before logging in at the station
      • Note: Only one application can use sound at a time. If sound does not seem work with some programs, please check whether there is another program using the sound device and close the program. Then, try the first program again.
    • plug in USB mass storage devices and digital cameras when a session is already running